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December Update: Smash Childhood Cancer
15 Dec 2020   

Summary

The project is temporarily paused, and lab testing will soon begin on compounds that may affect two of the targets that have already been run on World Community Grid.


Background

The Smash Childhood Cancer research team has identified proteins and other molecules that play key roles in certain childhood cancers. The challenge is now to find chemical drug candidates that specifically target these key molecules and therefore control the cancer cells.

Project temporarily paused

All of the work units for the EWSR1 have been sent out to volunteers and most have been returned. As we mentioned in last month's update, the project will now pause while the research team finalizes their decision on another protein and builds new work units. We don't yet have a timeline for the re-start, but will let everyone know as we have more information from the researchers.

Data analysis

While the deciding on the project's next target, the researchers are continuing to analyze data from the previous batches of work.

Below are the key proteins that have been examined so far and a short description of their current status. Each of these proteins are involved in the development of at least one type of childhood cancer, and some also may be significant in adult cancers.


Beta catenin    
The researchers have identified a compound that may be effective at targeting this protein, and plan to do further testing.

LIN28B
Still looking for funding to study further

Osteopontin
Have identified at least one compound that may be effective in targeting this protein; they will be ready to begin testing in the next few weeks*

PAX3:FOX01  
Have identified a compound that may be effective in targeting this protein, and will be ready to begin testing in the next few weeks*

PRDM14
Received funding that should help with at least part of the analysis of this protein; have identified multiple compounds that may be effective at targeting this protein, and have begun the purchasing process for some of these compounds**


*Lab testing compounds for effectiveness generally requires several phases, and each phase can take at least several months.

**Ordering compounds for lab testing is a multi-step process that can take at least several months, and this process is running more slowly for many research institutions due to COVID-19 restrictions and priorities.

Current status of work units

Project paused

 

Click here to learn more about World Community Grid's monthly project updates.

 




Research Call Notes